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Self-Adaptive Software Systems: Properties and Assessment

In recent years the dynamic capabilities of self-adaptive software-intensive systems have proliferated and improved significantly. However, these dynamic capabilities must be systematically guaranteed in their migration to the industry before reaching the society. To advance the field of self-adaptive and self-managing systems and leverage their benefits it is necessary to develop methods and tools to assess and possibly certify adaptation properties of self-adaptive systems, not only at design time but also, and especially, at run-time. In previous works we first proposed a framework for evaluating quality-driven self-adaptive software systems [villegas11seams]. This framework is based on a survey of self-adaptive system papers and a set of adaptation properties derived from control theory properties. Moreover, these properties are mapped to software quality attributes, and thus, corresponding software quality metrics can be used to assess adaptation properties. Second, in [tamura13book] we proposed several ways of integrating software validation and verification (V&V) measures in the MAPE-K loop to ensure that adaptation mechanisms produce software adaptations that satisfy user requirements and expected quality attributes throughout their lifecycle. Given that high levels of adaptation and autonomy provide new ways for software systems to operate in highly dynamic environments, developing certifiable V&V methods for guaranteeing the achievement of self-adaptive software goals is still one of the major challenges facing the entire research field. Therefore, in this paper we identify highlight fundamental challenges and concerns for the development of V&V methods and techniques that provide certifiable trust in self-adaptive and self-managing systems; and present a proposal for evaluating properties inherent to self-adaptive software systems.


[villegas11seams] N. Villegas, H. M"uller, G. Tamura, et al., ``A Framework for Evaluating Quality-driven Self-Adaptive Software Systems'', in Proceedings 6th International Symposium ICSE (SEAMS), 2011, pp. 80--89, ACM.
[tamura13book]G. Tamura, N. Villegas, H. M"uller, et al., ``Towards Practical Runtime Verification and Validation of Self-Adaptive Software Systems'', LNCS, 2013, vol. 7475, pp. 108--132, Springer.